Microsoft snagged another one. Pegatron is the latest company to sign a patent agreement with Microsoft concerning Android and Chrome devices. The exact terms of this agreement were not disclosed, but according to a press release issued this morning, Microsoft will receive royalties from Pegatron under this agreement.
Microsoft’s aggressive strategy to license its patents for Android devices is a loaded subject. On the surface it looks like extortion. Google thinks so. But Google is also the company that built the Android platform, seemingly ignoring key patents held by Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft is trailing far behind in the mobile races, but by licensing patents it holds to competitors, the company is just utilizing its assets to make a few bucks. That’s not cheating. That’s playing smart.
Because of royalties garnered from patents covering parts of Android, it’s been said that Microsoft actually makes more money from Android than its own mobile platform. This latest deal nets Microsoft four of Taiwan’s top five ODMs. Microsoft isn’t going after just the major brands but rather the actual manufacturers as well.
This deal with Pegatron is just the latest in a long line of agreements with such companies as HTC, Samsung, LG, Compal, Quanta and several more. As of January of this year, Microsoft held patent agreements with 70% of Android makers with Motorola being one of the notable holdouts.
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...